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Edward L. Ayers is the President of the University of Richmond. He was educated at the University of Tennessee and Yale University, where he received his Ph.D. in American Studies. Previously Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia, where he began teaching in 1980, Ayers was named National Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Support of Education in 2003. His book, IN THE PRESENCE OF MINE ENEMIES: WAR IN THE HEART OF AMERICA, 1859-1863 (2003), won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished work on the history of the United States. THE PROMISE OF THE NEW SOUTH: LIFE AFTER RECONSTRUCTION (1992) won prizes for the best book on the history of American race relations and on the history of the American South. It was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He is the co-editor of THE OXFORD BOOK OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH (1997) and ALL OVER THE MAP: RETHINKING AMERICAN REGIONS (1996). The World Wide Web version of "The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War" was recognized by the American Historical Association as the best aid to the teaching of history. His latest book is WHAT CAUSED THE CIVIL WAR? REFLECTIONS ON THE SOUTH AND SOUTHERN HISTORY (2005).
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